Proudly Serving Minneapolis, St. Paul & Greater Twin Cities
Plantation shutters in a traditional living room

R-Values of Shutters: Comparing Energy Efficiency of Window Treatments

June 13, 2017

We’re big talkers when it comes to energy efficiency in window treatments. But that’s because we have the hard data to back us up. With the help of some outside research, we can chart the energy efficiency of the most often-chosen window coverings in Minneapolis, from blinds to drapes to shutters.

What Is R-Value And Why What Does It Mean For Window Treatments?

Everything in your house that insulates, from the walls to your windows, has an R-value. That value tells you how effective it is at blocking thermal energy from passing through it. A larger r-value corresponds to a more effective insulator.

cellular shades in Minneapolis house 

Why does the R-value of a window covering matter? Well, a more energy efficient window treatment makes it easier to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. Whether you want to keep in the heat at wintertime or keep your home cool in summer, you need good insulation. That’s extra crucial for your windows, because they’re a likely culprit for energy loss in your home.

Window Treatment R-value Comparison Chart

Not all window treatments are made equal, at least not in terms of insulation. Though there can be some difference based on the material and construction between different vendors and models, below is what you’re likely to find when comparing window treatments.

Type of Window Covering

Typical R-Value

Window alone








Hardwood Shutters


Cellular shades


Polywood plantation shutters


R-value averages sourced from HouseLogic &

A short look at the chart shows you a couple of things. The first is the fact that a few certain window coverings barely give you any benefit whatsoever (looking at you, blinds), while others are energy-efficient beasts. That difference in R-value can mean a difference of several degrees – that’s the difference in whether you dial up your air conditioning and lose money.

You might also notice the fact that what the window treatment is made out of is a big deal. Cellular shades, designed with a number of insulating layers designed to trap heat, are able to put a stop to temperature flow a lot better than pleated shades.

white shutters in Minneapolis great room 

Similarly, Polywood® plantation shutters, built from a solid-body faux wood compound, can keep out heat a heap better than natural wood shutters. Natural wood can be porous, with natural holes and gaps that allow heat to move easily. Polywood shutters, fit with custom weatherstripping, make a solid seal on your window when closed, which is why they have that top of the line r-value of 6 and up.

Up Your Home’s R-value

The stats don’t lie. Your window coverings play a big part in how comfortable your space is. Could your home be a little more comfortable? We can help. Have a chat with the team at Sunburst Shutters Minneapolis by calling 952-856-8130, or use our free appointment request form below.